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The Northern Lights Won’t Be This Bright Again Until 2025

If you’ve ever had a chance to camp out to witness the northern lights, you know they can be mysterious and amazing. They’re only observable on dark, clear nights up north when a solar flare or solar wind fires particles toward Earth. Witnessing this phenomenon live requires a bit of luck, but if watchers wish to boost their chances, now's the best time. 

As Thrillist reports, the northern lights are at their peak—and won’t be this bright again until 2025.

The colorful lights that appear to bend in the sky over the Arctic Circle are the creation of electrons from the Sun crashing with gases in the planet’s atmosphere. The lights are controlled by the Sun, and as solar activity goes through 11-year cycles, so does the aurora borealis.

The Sun is presently at the end of the extreme stage of its cycle. The amplified solar activity makes for northern lights that are more regular and observable farther south. As the Sun starts to move into its least stage of activity, the light show will be tougher to see from parts of the world to the south of northern Russia, northern Canada, Alaska, and Scandinavia. The next part of the cycle will last about eight years, with solar activity starting to heat up again around 2025.

On infrequent times, the northern lights can be observed from some of the lower 48 states, like Maine, Michigan, and Washington. But to make sure you get to see them in highest season, U.S. residents may have to travel north. Here are a few cheap journeys you can take to get an eyeful of the spectacle.

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